The Alliance For Change, which is one of the main partners in the coalition Government, has expressed its full support of the President’s decision to move ahead with the appointment of a Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission.
The AFC held a special executive meeting on Friday and noted the decision made by the President in appointing Justice James Patterson as Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
The President’s choice for GECOM Chairman came from outside the three lists of nominees that were submitted by the Opposition Leader.
The party said, “it is regrettable that after three protracted rounds of consultations and submissions, each of the three lists fell short of the requirements of the constitution.”
The Constitution provides for the Leader of the Opposition to provide a list of six names that are not unacceptable for the President. It also provides for the President to move ahead with choosing someone for the job on his own, if he finds that the nominees provided to him are unacceptable.
According to the AFC, it recognizes that “the necessity had arisen for the President not to further delay the appointment of a Chairman. The appointment in the President’s own deliberate judgement has averted a looming constitutional crisis.”
But the AFC also noted that it will use the constitutional reform process to ensure that there is wider participation of stakeholders in the selection of GECOM Commissioners.
It said that it recognizes, that according to the Constitution, the consultation process was purely between the President and the Leader of the Opposition.
Meanwhile, the party has also lashed out at Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo over his decision to begin a period of non-cooperation with the government in light of the President’s GECOM decision.
Mr. Jagdeo believes the move by the President is unconstitutional and served as a dark day for democracy in Guyana. He said the PPP will not be cooperating with the Government in any area, including at the township and regional level.
The AFC said that position by Mr. Jagdeo is “reckless and unpatriotic”.